[Market-farming] Alan Chadwick book from Logosophia: Performance In the Garden

Allan Balliett allan.balliett at gmail.com
Fri Feb 15 07:40:30 EST 2013

Quite the stirring conversation!

When evaluating experiences with biodynamic farmers (I've been one for 30
years) at a minimum keep in mind that there are Anthroposophic biodynamic
farmers (the biodynamic establishment that listens directly to what Steiner
said, which seems to be the group being criticized in this discussion) and
Applied Biodynamics farmers, people who have taken Steiner's indications
and run with them.

Keep in mind that when you enter the realm of biodynamics at any point,
special rules of teaching and of learning apply. Steiner forbade students
to take notes as he spoke because he believed taking notes interfered with
the actual understanding of what he was saying. Chadwick never wrote a
book, for similar reasons (writing was not The Teaching) and yet he
lectured copiously. A real biodynamic farmer knows that biodynamics works
(there are also several university studies that show BD preps increasing
humus and P, but the flavor of the foods produced on a good biodynamic farm
at generally proof enough, or consideration of all the prizes biodynamic
wines have been garnering around the world in recent years) and knows that
the way to understand biodynamics is by doing it, not by talking about it.
Nobody, my self included, should be rude to strangers, let along those who
appear to want to learn, but the need to apply the scientific method to a
horticulture system that was designed to remediate problems that Science
has brought into the land and food can make someone who actually practices
biodynamics quite angry.

If you don't grok homeopathy, you can never grok biodynamics. If you have
experienced the healing benefits of homeopathy, then you are comfortable
with things that work that our world view can't approach explaining. Let
"proof" go and just DO IT! I think at this point in time most people can
look at, for example, mainstream medicine or nutrition, and realize that
Science, at least not Science perverted to the service of Commerce, is not
offer the solutions we are looking for.

There's a new book of Chadwick Lectures out by Alan Chadwick. This one is
also from the Alan Chadwick archive and put together (very well!) by
Stephen Crimi "Reverence, Obedience and the Invisible in the Garden" Read
"Small is Beautiful" E. M. Schumacher's comment in the bibliography "Alan
Chadwick is the greatest horticulturist we possess today." (1977)

If you want to ask more questions about biodynamics or just learn more
about biodynamics, you can join Biodynamics Now! The International
Biodynamic Food and Farming Discussion group through www.bdnow.org. (You'l
also find a podcast interview with Craig Siska, the man behind the Alan
Chadwick Archive, at bdnow.org) There are numerous lists of books that
augment biodynamic practices available at bdnow.org, also

Which reminds me: the reason Steiner sounds so 'arrogant' in the lectures
you have read is because almost everything you can read from Steiner was
poorly translated from German, probably by  German immigrants who
themselves carried those Germanic traits we Americans have always sensed as
'arrogant' Get ahold of the Malcolm Gardner (now there's an arrogant fellow
;-) translation of Steiner's agriculture in which Steiner comes through as
a well educated man who shares freely informatin that was common to
thinkers in the pre-Cartesian world in a way that makes you want to spend
time with him

-Allan Balliett
Biodynamics Now!

On Wed, Feb 13, 2013 at 5:38 PM, ecoponderosa <3cedarsfarm at gmail.com> wrote:

> On 2/11/2013 10:33 AM, Wyatt Jones wrote:
> > I'll have to check that out.  I've been very impressed by Alan Chadwick,
> > not so much with Rudolph Steiner though.
> > like the manure or silca in the cow horn business.  I've also
> Beneficial soil microorganisms, EM, IM, fungi, mycorrhizae, bacteria,
> etc. "Preps" or microbial soil innoculants, compost innoculants; there
> are several BD preps.
> > Some of my experiences with the Boidynamics people also have been very
> good
> > but a lot of them very bad.  Seems a lot of them look at Rudolph Steiner
> There are many brilliant, creative, skilled, thoughtful BD advocates.
> They alone set the biodynamics movement apart from the rest of the world
> of agriculture. Permaculture does the rest.
> There are others whom I will never understand like one regular
> participant in a bd forum I encountered on facebook who stated that the
> cia/kissinger/us/chilean military/pinochet were fully justified, even
> obligated, to mount a military coup in Chile to put that genocidal
> dictator in power while assassinating the existing leader Salvador
> Allende, national heroes folk musician Victor Jara and poet Pablo Neruda
> and their supporters and many political activists, a mounting a campaign
> of severe political repression to last for years there while similar
> ones were happening in Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and in Central
> American countries. He maintained that the Chilean Left was getting too
> entrenched and powerful and needed to be stopped. Some attitude from an
> alleged card carrying follower of biodynamics usually preaching your
> typical all sweetness and light love and charity boilerplate. Did he get
> these notions from Steiner?
> > as some sort of god and many of them treat biodynamics as some sort of
> > religion, not open to any sort of questioning, a lot of them literally
> > showed me the door when I started asking questions about the mechanics
> > and  scientific nuts and bolts of their assertions.  Don't even think
> Their loss for being close minded.
> > about talking eastern philosophy to them , I practically got lyched
> > doing that LOL.  Don't get me wrong, I think there is an underlying
> > basis for a lot of what is taught, like the adding of herbs and other
> > components to compost for various problems, but the attitude of most the
> > people I had experience with was a little too much like very religious
> > stuborn blind faith and a clan mentality which usually clashed with my
> > attitude of inclusive consideration of possibilities but also of
> > critical thinking.
> There you go, "attitude of inclusive consideration of possibilities"
> says it all and is a good path to follow.
> Chadwick went well beyond biodynamics in his work and teaching, using
> only some of its principles. He was a broadminded free thinker and
> created his own gardening system based on food production methods
> carried out by humankind around the globe for thousands of years,
> with an emphasis on the French system of biologically intensive market
> gardening and similar methods developed in England, Germany and
> Switzerland (Howard, King, etc.). During his era he led the way for
> newly enlightened people who wanted to adopt natural, regenerative
> methods of home food gardening for their own use and well being and for
> the health of Gaia. Colleagues of his and present-day advocates of his
> work include Marc Bonfils, Emelia Hazelip, Masanobu Fukuoka, John
> Jeavons and Eliot Coleman.
> That said I don't believe in throwing the baby out
> > with the bathwater.  Biodynamics would be a lot more helpful without the
> > smoke and mirrors routine.
> The mystery will always be there; it is up to you to discover its value.
> Like the world-at-large, lean heavily toward the positive. BD is a
> religion in that respect as is Permaculture with its system of Three
> Ethics with similar lessons in Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism,
> Buddhism, Taoism.
> > Sorry for the rant, sorta been through a lot on this subject.
> Thanks for posting what you did; it was interesting.
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